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By Wendy Perron
There are terrific dancers everywhere. On Broadway, they can cross the stage in a nameless cluster, or they can play backup to a box-office star. You might not notice them instantly, but hidden in those chorus lines of seemingly identical women are gems of dancers. Some are happy to get the steady work while others are just itching to break out and snag a featured role.
For our Broadway issue, we talked to three of these excellent dancers. Meet Sarrah Strimel, who’s in the ensemble of Susan Stroman’s Big Fish, now in previews. Meet Bahiyah Hibah, now in After Midnight’s ensemble (along with Desmond Richardson and Karine Plantadit!). If you saw her during her Ailey days, you know she’s a sumptuous, dramatic performer. And meet Paloma Garcia-Lee, who made the switch to the Kathleen Marshall musical Nice Work If You Can Get It after years in the ensemble of Phantom of the Opera. (You might remember her effervescent style from the fifth season of DanceMedia’s web series Dance212.) In Lauren Kay’s “Singular Sensations” these three gorgeous, generous women talk about camaraderie, warming up, and how to keep the show alive after doing it for the umpteenth time.
Sarrah Strimel, on of our cover beauties, stands fourth from the right in this Big Fish lineup. She also steps into the featured role of Girl in the Water.
In another part of the dance universe, some plucky performers are taking the plunge and starting new companies. In this economic climate, when groups like Chicago’s Luna Negra and Pittsburgh Dance Alloy have folded, it takes either guts or sheer folly to launch a new one. Read Joseph Carman’s “Exploring New Ground” to learn the motivations of five dancers and one collective—and decide for yourself which it is.
And just for fun, we asked ABT’s Sascha Radetsky to write about his tattoos, which grow in number each year. It will be no surprise to those of you who have read his previous stories that “Indelible Expressions” is both funny and profound in Sascha’s eloquent, inimitable way.
Wendy Perron, Editor in Chief
Photos from top: Matthew Karas; Paul Kolnik, Courtesy Big Fish